There is a reason, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor explains, why Trump did nothing on Jan. 6 to stop the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The reason is simple: Trump gleefully watched the sordid events unfold on television while his aides panicked and pleaded with him fruitlessly to do something because he wanted people to die.
As Taylor points out, the more deaths that occurred (especially deaths to members of Congress) the better justification Trump would have for invoking the Insurrection Act, declaring martial law, and ultimately preventing the peaceful transfer of power.
In this clip, which aired Thursday evening on MSNBC, Taylor speaks as someone who knows Trump and has spent a significant amount of time with him. He understands Trump’s depraved mindset as well as anyone.
From Matthew Chapman, reporting for Raw Story:
“It made my heart race to watch today’s hearing, really, because they brought up Trump’s mindset, and the question was, what was his mindset?” Taylor told anchor Nicolle Wallace. “I’m going to demystify that for America right now. I’ve spent time with the guy in the Oval Office, the White House situation room, and Air Force One. I’ll tell you what his mindset was on January 6th.”
“I believe Donald Trump wanted people to die,” said Taylor. “He wanted people to die … who were elected officials, en masse, so he could call out the military, so he could invoke the Insurrection Act, so he could prevent the peaceful transfer of power. That’s not a conspiracy theory. In fact, in hindsight, it’s pretty damn clear to me this is what he had in mind from day one in office.”
The news media long ago fell into the trap of portraying Donald Trump as some sort of gruff but still amusing blowhard, boorish but mesmerizingly larger than life, essentially an entertainer spewing riveting (if raw) verbiage tailor-made for media consumption. This was the image he cultivated on The Apprentice, and it’s the same image that got him elected. To this day, the media regard Trump more with fascination than the horrified repugnance he actually warrants.
It’s almost as if the idea that someone in such a position of power could be so utterly bereft of human decency is just too much for our media to process. Thanks in large part to this treatment he received prior to the 2016 election, nearly half the electorate—and perhaps more—continue to regard him as a type of media-savvy clown, playing to his adoring fans by saying “just what he thinks,” without ever questioning why what he “thinks” strangely aligns with their own prejudices and predispositions.
Many in this country began to realize exactly what Trump was when they took note of the things he said during his rallies, by his weird embrace of murderous dictators, and by his solicitude toward virulent racists. But what really should have been a colossal, waving red flag to the vast majority of Americans was the complete disregard of human life he exhibited during the COVID-19 pandemic. As things turned out, enough people got the message about the kind of evil we were really saddled with in Donald Trump. Hundreds of thousands of people died miserably and unnecessarily for the sole reason that they’d placed their faith in Trump’s words, and the words of those whose political careers stood to profit from their allegiance to him. Even then, at no time did Trump exhibit the slightest degree of empathy or compassion for those deaths, nor has he expressed or intimated such sentiments since.
What we have with Trump is not a clown, not a boor, not a “populist,” but someone with the mindset of a cold-blooded murderer. The incongruity of witnessing someone with such a mindset placed at the pinnacle of American power, someone fawned upon by the media and who (for many) gave voice to their own inner resentments, operated to obscure that basic fact, even from those who truly should have known better.
The Jan. 6 Select Committee has done yeoman’s work in unmasking the fact that Trump was intent on maintaining power and instigated a deadly insurrection among his most virulent followers to achieve that end. But it still hasn’t managed to convey in the clearest possible terms what is blatantly obvious: that this man fully intended as many Americans as necessary to die for him to preserve his own position and status. And worse, that he would not have lost a second’s worth of sleep over it.
That is the very definition of “evil.”
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